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New Lawmakers Begin 'Freshman Orientation' On Capitol Hill

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Freshmen orientation kicked off on Capitol Hill yesterday. These next few weeks are a time for freshmen lawmakers to learn the ropes of Congress.

Besides interviewing potential staff members, they'll be learning congressional decorum and battling for choice office space. Some will even be casting key votes; three new members who won special elections were sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner last night.

Not every member of this year's freshmen class is new to Congress though. New Hampshire Congresswoman-elect Carol Shea-Porter served two terms with large Democratic majorities in 2006 and 2008. After being ousted in the 2010 Republican wave, she seems to be striking a less partisan tone this time around. 

"I am really going to reach out to the new Republicans and I'm looking at their bios to see what we have in common and where we can work together," she says.

Unlike years past, this year's freshmen orientation is scheduled to stretch past next week's Thanksgiving recess. 


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